MELBOURNE 1.0 4.4 5.6 11.12 (78)
RICHMOND 4.6 6.12 9.20 13.23 (101)
Richmond has survived a display of awful goal kicking accuracy and a general lacklustre performance to hold off a steadily improving Melbourne side, winning by 23 points at the MCG.
It was a contest that will be remembered for the somewhat bizarre officiating, with the real story coming from two incorrect calls made with the goal review system.
The first came when James Magner shanked a set shot, yet the ball miraculously found its way through the goals seemingly untouched. The fourth umpire judged reviews as inconclusive, and a point was controversially awarded as a result.
Unfortunately for the AFL, it was not the worst mistake made on the day.
Richmond’s Matt White kicked a goal which was called a behind, leading to mass protests from the Tigers’ players. The umpires refused to use a review, and the decision stood, despite replays clearly showing White had clearly converted.
Clearly, something needs to be fixed with the technology currently being used.
The incidents unfortunately overshadowed the contest between two developing sides, although many may be thankful for that fact as this match lacked a lot of the things expected at the elite level.
The Tigers won comfortably, but were probably never going to lose, but it will not hide the fact that they will need vast improvement if they wish to feature in September.
Shaun Grigg continued his brilliant form in 2012 with another stand out day, leading with 35 disposals and three goal assists, which proved incredibly valuable on a day the Tigers had problems in front of goal.
Jack Riewoldt was the worst, finishing with five goals for the day. The misses were irrelevant when you consider the result, but coach Damien Hardwick will be thankful that a match against Gold Coast next week should allow them to ease back into the form that saw them competing with the better sides in the competition.
Melbourne: Martin 2, Blease, Garland, Rivers, Jones, McKenzie, Bail, Tapscott, Bennell, Sylvia
Richmond: Nahas 4, Deledio 2, McGuane 2, Grigg, Riewoldt, White, Edwards, Tuck
Melbourne: Jones, Watts, Sylvia, Frawley, Howe, Rivers
Richmond: Cotchin, Morris, Grigg, Deledio, Tuck, Riewoldt, Maric, Nahas
Richmond: Ben Griffiths (leg)
Melbourne: James Magner replaced by Brent Moloney in the third quarter
Richmond: Ben Griffiths replaced by Addam Maric in the third quarter
Umpires: Wenn, Foot, Armstrong
Official crowd: 46,773 at the MCG